* Government rolls out scheme to introduce free period products into all state schools and colleges in England.
* Millions of period products stocked ready to be delivered to schools and colleges
* Schools and colleges encouraged to order their products from Monday
Free period products are to be made available to all schools and colleges in England from Monday, as the Department for Education launches its fully funded scheme.
The new scheme is set to give pupils easy access to period products at school or college, helping to break down stigmas and ensure no young person’s education is disrupted by their period.
From Monday 20 January, schools and colleges across the country will be able to order a range of period products from supplier phs Group, making period products readily available for all young people when they need them.
Millions of period products are being prepared by phs Direct, part of hygiene and washroom services provider phs Group, in a newly refurbished, dedicated warehouse ready to be dispatched ahead of the first orders. Schools and colleges will receive an activation email from phs on Monday 20 January which will enable them to access the purpose-built phs Direct portal and order products for their organisation. There is a wide range of products from pads and tampons to environmentally-friendly pads and reusable products.
David Taylor-Smith, CEO of phs Group, said
“We have been busy preparing for the launch of this scheme and we are ready for the first wave of demand. We encourage schools and colleges to look out for their activation email and make their first order so they can start offering free products as soon as possible.
“Period products are a necessity, not a luxury, and we believe providing free products for young people will be a catalyst for change in creating period equality. We are proud to be the supplier for such a worthy scheme.”
This follows the Government’s commitment last year to fully fund period products for all state-funded primary schools, secondary schools and colleges. It also forms part of the Department’s ambition to improve provision of products for young people, helping to support campaigns to break the stigma around periods and raise awareness of menstruation.
Children and Families Minister Michelle Donelan said:
“Periods are a normal part of everyday life and we do not want young people missing out on lessons because of them.
“We know that it is not easy for everyone to access period products where and when they need them. This scheme will deal with those problems so young people can go about their daily lives without getting caught out if they have come on their period unexpectedly, forgotten to bring products with them or if they can’t afford the products they need.”
The scheme also comes just months before health education becomes a compulsory for all state funded primary and secondary schools, under new guidance on relationships, sex and health education from September 2020 – to ensure all young people learn about living healthy lives, including menstrual wellbeing.
The Government also introduced the £15 million annual Tampon Tax Fund to support women’s charities – and made a commitment to end period poverty globally by 2030.
Amika George, founder of #FreePeriods, said:
“We have been waiting for this day for a long time! As a grassroots, student-led movement, Free Periods has been fighting for every single child in this country to be able to go to school without worrying about their next pad or tampon. For the first time in history, this scheme will ensure that becomes a reality.
“We ask that schools have open conversations with students about what they need and start signing up to the scheme - no child must miss out. Free products in schools will ensure that every child can learn and be their very best, without periods holding them back."
For support, schools and colleges can get in touch with phs Direct by emailing email@example.com or calling the helpline on 01827 255500.
For more information on phs, visit https://www.phs.co.uk. You can also follow @phsGroup on Twitter and phs Group on LinkedIn
Notes to editors:
- On Monday 20 January, each school or college will receive an activation email from phs which will include details of how to log in to the ordering account. This account will also set out an annual budget limit for 2020 based on the number of students estimated to use the scheme.
- Further information on the process and scheme is available on gov.uk here.
- phs content available: Photographs and video footage from the depot of all the products being prepared for dispatch. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- phs team available for interview. Please direct print and online interview requests to email@example.com and broadcast requests to firstname.lastname@example.org,
phs Group is the leading hygiene services provider in the UK, Ireland and Spain.
Our team of over 3,000 expert personnel provides washroom, floorcare, healthcare and a range of specialist services to over 120,000 customers ranging from large single sites, to multi-national restaurant chains, healthcare establishments and small owner occupied shops. Wherever we’re needed, we’re on your doorstep.
phs provides vital workplace services to organisations which improve the well-being of employees and customer. It makes over 3.6 million visits each year, whether it’s disposing of sanitary waste and nappies, installing hand dryers, soap dispensers, consumables and air purifiers or supplying floor mats to prevent slips, trips and falls. You’ll also find phs working within the healthcare industry disposing of clinical, pharmaceutical and dental waste. phs services also include the provision of indoor and outdoor plants, electrical and gas compliance testing services, industrial workwear, and waste compactor and crate rental. And phs Direct supplies thousands of customers with a wide range of washroom consumables and products including cleaning materials, paper products, hand dryers, soaps, period products and vending machines which freely dispense products for those wishing to offer free products to washroom users.
What makes phs different? It’s commitment to do the right thing. Through its LifeCycle Strategy, phs aim to divert up to 95% of our customers’ hygiene waste away from landfill, by using sustainable disposal methods, creating power for the national grid. It’s helping clean up the ocean from plastic by using ghost fishing nets to create Econyl floor mats. It has patented products which deliver significant water and cost savings. Its air purifiers help to improve employee wellbeing. And it’s been campaigning to create period equality across the UK.
By using phs, organisations can make a difference to the environment and their bottom line as well as telling a good news story. It’s all about doing the right thing.
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